“When your average worker wants to log into the corporate infrastructure remotely, companies are taking a risk that they may be giving criminals access to the corporate systems, and this risk is much higher when they log in using public computers in Internet cafés,” says Hedley Hurwitz, MD of Magix Integration. “Trying to keep external computers safe is an impossible task for IT departments, but at the same time, they can't deny remote access and few companies can afford to supply every user with a laptop.
“The good news is that using a USB memory stick and a virtualisation solution, companies can grant remote access from any machine, infected or not, with confidence. These USB sticks can be hardened security-specific solutions, or a normal high-performance device with the correct software installed.”Hurwitz explains that a complete operating system, including business applications, can be pre-loaded on a virtual environment on the USB stick. By inserting the device into a computer, this virtual environment runs independent of the systems on the computer, offering a closed system that is safe and secure.
No matter what malware may be on the host computer, the virtual environment runs independently and can't be infected, making it safe for connecting to the corporate infrastructure. Users can't alter the virtual system either, thereby preventing accidental or even intentional sabotage.
“Users can use their computers for whatever they wish, but when they toggle to the virtual environment it is an isolated, uncompromised system that accesses the corporate network safely,” says Hurwitz. “Using a virtual solution dramatically reduces the IT department's complexity in managing remote, home-based, or mobile users.”
Additionally, the USB stick can be accessed from the cloud for maintenance purposes. Moreover, should the USB be lost or stolen, it can be remotely disabled, preventing unauthorised use.
Making use of this virtual mobile solution means users are free to do what they will on their computers without compromising security or changing the functionality of business applications. In addition, the USB also serves a dual function of providing two-factor authentication for corporate access.
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